No5 Bridge Street – Winchester

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I am a true believer on first impressions. They are everything.

The look and feel of No5 is classy and elegant, a perfect place for some great food with friends, or a low key drink at the bar. One thing that I found rather disappointing was the welcome….there wasn’t one. I had booked a meal for two in the restaurant, and if you haven’t been before, the restaurant is set back and hidden from view when you arrive. So unless you know where to go someone needs to show you! There were three staff members around, one serving some drinks at the bar, one polishing glasses (and avoiding eye contact with us) and the manageress smiled at us and gracefully walked straight past! I’ll be honest I was pretty unhappy to stand around and not be greeted for about 5-10 minutes until the man serving the drinks kindly helped us.

However, that being said, once in the restaurant we were attended to extremely well. The restaurant is small and intimate and the décor beautifully thought out. A large double sided fireplace sits in the middle; it’s only a shame that it’s filled with high chairs?! Rather odd and a shame that it’s wasted on one side! The greeting and the fireplace really is the only thing I could find fault with. This blog is purely based on my experience on the night and I have no doubt that others have had better welcomes when arriving at No5, I certainly don’t want to put people off going because it’s a very small part of a very good evening!

No5 Bridge Street
No5 Bridge Street

The friendly and knowledgeable staff took our food order and gave advice when asked. I loved watching the chefs in the open kitchen, it’s nice to see the kitchen these days and I definitely think that it improves the quality of food that is served and the behaviour of staff when they are on show!

Dinner for two..
Dinner for two..

We had the well-known giant ham-hock Scotch egg, cooked to perfection with the yoke still runny, and served with delicious home-made piccalilli. I like to try lots of different things when I go to a restaurant and really get a variety of flavours, so this was followed by chorizo croquettes and an incredible side of runner beans, salty bacon and shallots. It was close to heaven. To satisfy my sweet tooth I went for my all time favourite dish, crème brulee – a blackberry crème brulee. The hint of blackberry was a nice change but a little strong in places. However I must mention the elderflower sorbet it was served with, it was the most refreshing, and tasty sorbet I have ever been served. An absolute treat and a perfect finish to my meal!

No5 Bridge Street - Food!
No5 Bridge Street – Food!

It was a really nice relaxing evening and had a lovely buzzing atmosphere about it. The soothing acoustic music in the background definitely added to the chilled night. Live bands or singers are around on Fridays and throughout the summer a DJ takes over the bar area from about 9pm. It’s well worth a visit for some truly great ‘Modern British’ food. Check back soon for my experience when hiring their private dining room, the Stable! I give the overall experience three out of five stars.

No5 Bridge Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 0HN. 01962 863838. Dinner for two with wine, around £55.

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